For Everything You Are

by James Matthews

Chapter 2

Too Late

Cody's Room, UK 5.14pm

C ody held Jake's head in his hands; he had just finished speaking when Jake slowly moved his lips towards Cody's. Cody, knowing what was coming, but without the time to react, felt Jake's lips press against his. He pushed Jake away, causing him to fall from the bed on to his ass. Jake just sat there for what seemed like an eternity, neither of them speaking a word.

"Cody, I'm… I'm sorry. I don't know….." Without warning or finishing his sentence, Jake got up from the floor, ran downstairs and out the front door, leaving Cody sitting there, frozen. Jake ran as fast as he could back home. He had never run so fast in his life. He knew what happened in Cody's room was a game changer, and probably not in a good way.

Cody, still trying to figure out what had just taken place, was still sitting motionless, staring at the wall in his room. Even though he knew Jake was gay, his best friend had never done anything like this before and he didn't know how to react. One things that was niggling at him though was the overwhelming urge to go after him.

Grabbing his coat, he flew out of the door in pursuit of Jake, who was now entering his own street. Jake got his key out, but dropped it in his driveway. With tears running down his face, he found the key and headed to his front door.

Just at that moment, Cody came running up.

"Jake, please wait!" Cody panted, totally out of breath, with his hands on his knees, looking up at Jake. Jake turned back seeing Cody standing there. He just needed to get inside, so he bolted through and shut the front door behind him, his friend outside. Running upstairs, he threw himself on the bed and buried his head in his pillow.

'How could I have been so fucking stupid?' He thought, crying.

Cody was now at the door ringing the doorbell incessantly, but Jake was not answering it. With frustration building he lifted the letter box and shouted through. "Please, man, let me in."

Jake was afraid of letting him in; he didn't have a clue what he would say if he did.

"Please Jake, its cold and I'm freezing my balls off out here," Cody shouted once again, gently trying to lighten the mood in another tactic. He heard the door click and it opened slowly, with Jake standing there, staring at the floor.

"I think we need to um… to talk about what happened," Cody said softly. Jake just nodded his head and stepped to the side to let his friend come past. Cody stood in the hallway, shivering, as Jake shut the door. He turned to Jake, and putting his hand on the side of his friend's head, he used his thumb to wipe away the tears.

"Let's go to your room, Jake," Cody said, looking at the stairs. They made their way up and both sat on the bed.

Jake decided to talk first. "I understand if you don't want to hang out with me anymore, Cody. I don't know what came over me. I was stupid, and I'm really sorry I put you in that situation. I'm so fucking embarrassed, I just want to crawl into a hole and die right now." Jake got quieter as he finished his statement.

Cody was just sitting there looking at the wall and let out a sigh. "Jake, what am I going to do with you, fella?" he asked, rubbing Jake's back. "You just caught me off guard, ok? I never thought in a million years you would ever make a move on me like that, and it just shocked me, that's all. I didn't know what to do or say and by the time I did, you were already long gone."

Jake turned and looked at Cody, surprised that he was taking what happened so well. "Cody, you're my best friend and you are straight. I should never have put our friendship at risk by doing what I did. I have embarrassed the hell out of myself and made you feel very uncomfortable,"

Jake put his head in his hands as Cody failed to say anything immediately after. But then he did, and the words were not what he was expecting.

"It was… It was actually a nice feeling," Cody stuttered almost robotically, staring straight ahead. Jake jumped up from the bed and started breathing heavily.

"No! No fucking way, Cody, don't fucking mess with my head, man. You don't know what you are saying. You are not gay! I didn't turn you that way, and I'm not going to have my feelings fucked around with. Before you say any more, don't! I can't fucking handle this".

Cody got up from the bed, shocked at how Jake had reacted. In that moment, time stood still. The ticking of Jake's bedroom clock got slower for both of them and then almost seem to stop. Cody slowly made his way over in front of Jake, put his hands on Jake's shoulders, and for what seemed like an age to them both, moved his face closer to Jake's. Jake tried to pull away from Cody, not wanting this to go any further, but it was too late. Cody's lips connected with his own. They both closed their eyes and Cody went a step further, slipping his tongue into Jake's mouth, gently brushing it against Jake's, before moving it around. In that moment of passion, Jake pulled Cody in tighter and increased the speed of the kiss. But then, realising what he had done, he broke it and pulled away, leaving them both staring into each other's eyes.

"Why did you just do that, Cody?" Jake asked, trembling.

"Because…" Cody paused for a second, "Because I'm not fucking with your head, Jake," whispered in reply.

"But why? I mean, why now, why this. What the fuck is going on here?"

Jake was obviously struggling to get his head round what had just happened and could not get sufficient words out to express what he was feeling.

"Maybe it's the thought of losing you, Jake. I don't know, my head is so mixed up right now, I don't know what's happening. You're my best friend, and I guess the fact I might never see you again …"


"I don't know, Jake, I'm confused, ok?" Cody snapped. "Why the fuck couldn't you just tell me that you liked me, Jake; it would have been a whole lot easier than trying to play the straight guy with you." Jake just looked at Cody, trying to figure out how to decrypt what he had just said.

"What are you saying, Cody? You like guys?" Jake asked, surprised.

"No! I mean, maybe! I mean, I like you, if that counts. Ah, fuck it, I don't know what I mean!" Cody said, as he slumped back down on Jake's bed. Jake went and sat down next to him again. "I wish it were easy for me to explain but I can't."

"If you think it's easy for me, Cody, you are wrong. You don't know how hard it's been for me to keep my feelings separate from our friendship. Looking at you every day, thinking how much I would like to hold you and care for you. You think that's been easy?" Jake was starting to get animated now, and slightly angry. Two years of pent up emotions were starting to spill out, and he was trying to keep some things inside still, not wanting to freak out Cody, who was already having a hard time with his own feelings.

"Look around us. Who knows I'm gay? Only you! I have to live a lie every day of my life, wondering if it will always be that way. I am 16, Cody, and for most adults, they would just think it was some kind of phase. Or worse, they might think there is something wrong with me," Jake said in a freaked out tone.

"I just didn't know how to respond to you, Jake. I have always liked you, but not in a way I really understood. And then today….I mean….Damn, I thought you were only making your smutty and flattering comments to me because I'm the only one you could do it to, because you were still in the closet and all. Yeah, ok, I admit it. I kind of liked it when you said those things to me. It made me feel….ah, this is stupid".

"No, carry on, Cody, I'm interested in what you have to say," said Jake, hanging on Cody's every word.

"It made me feel special Jake… no one had ever taken an interest in me before, not even girls, and you always made me feel good about myself. Ok, yeah, you used to embarrass me sometimes, but it was still nice when you said I was hot and stuff like that." Cody started to go red in the face. Jake pretended he didn't notice.

"That's because you are hot, Cody," Jake said, squeezing the back of Cody's neck.

"You really think so?" Cody asked, blushing even more.

"Hell yeah! Why do you think there are so many cum stains on my computer chair?" Jake said, laughing hysterically. Cody went red as a tomato and punched Jake on the shoulder for that last comment. "Just look in the mirror Cody, you have a fantastically toned body that I just wanna lick all over. Your piercing eyes could stop traffic and even the way your bum seems to…."

"Jake, stop it, this is embarrassing" Cody said smiling, now a new shade of deep red.

"Well, sorry but its true." Jake grinned back.

With the mood somewhat lightened, they both sat there, trying to take in the events that led them to be sitting in Jake's bedroom, rather than Cody's. After a few minutes, Jake spoke up. "I don't know where we go from here, Cody, but what I do know is that things are about to change if the USA thing is right, and I really don't want to think about what will happen if I have to go with my parents to America."

Cody flinched, knowing Jake was right, and also realising after the heat of the moment that Jake was still yet to be told anything by his parents.

"Well like you say, now that we know what we know about each other, Jake, what do we do? I really don't want to fall for you, but after today, it's like a flood gate has opened in my heart, pulling my whole body - to what, I don't dare think about."

"Wow!" said Jake


"It's just…what you just said….it was kinda deep; you know….for you I mean."

Cody got up from the bed and went to kiss Jake again, but decided against it. He knew he must now fight with all his strength to keep their friendship at just that –friendship because any more than that, knowing that Jake could leave the country, would be too much to bear.

"Listen, Jake, I'm gonna leave; your parents will be home soon, and I need to think about stuff."

"Cody, are you sure you're ok?" Jake knew full well the answer.

"Yeah, I'm good. I'm just a little spaced out right now. I'll take a walk home and gather my thoughts. I'll call you tomorrow to see how things went with you and the folks."

"I'm not even sure I have the energy to ask them about anything, Cody," Jake said, sighing.

"Well, I guess someone is gonna say something soon, so it might as well be you," Cody said, matter of fact.

He left Jake's bedroom and they both went down the stairs to the front door. Before Jake opened the it, he attempted to give Cody a kiss, but Cody pulled away and opened the door. Not looking back, he walked down the street leaving Jake with an empty and rejected feeling in his gut. 'What did I say wrong', Jake thought to himself, as he closed the door.

In the kitchen Jake looked in the cupboards for something to eat. He decided to save the ten pound his father gave him for something different. He didn't know what, yet, but knew he could do something better with it than buy food. That something better was more than likely going to involve Cody, he mused.

Taking out some cheese and ham, he made himself a quick sandwich and headed back upstairs to his room. Pulling out his headphones and cell phone from his school bag, he lay back on his bed and listened to music, falling asleep.

"Jake! Jake! JAKE!" his mother shouted, not realising his music was still blaring away in his ear. She went over to his bed and shook him by his ankle. Jake, startled, jumped up and removed the headphones from his ears. "Jake, why are you still in your uniform? Look, it's all creased now where you have been laying on it," Jenny declared, pulling at the material of his shirt.

"Sorry, mum, I fell asleep," he replied.

"Well, go get changed, its after 8, and by the looks of things, you haven't even showered or anything yet." Jake tossed his legs over the side of his bed and went to the bathroom. At the same time, his mother went back downstairs and joined Alan in the lounge.

"Have you asked him to come down yet, Jen?" Alan asked, pouring a glass of brandy.

"Alan, he hasn't even showered yet. I found him lying on his bed asleep. That boy gets lazier every day that goes by," she said, grinning to herself. Back in the bathroom, Jake had the shower running to get it warm. He was staring, naked, into the mirror trying to digest the day's events. He noticed how, in the last year or so, his body had started to really show definition. His chest had developed nicely, and he had started to see the beginning of a six pack forming. For his age, Jake was quite well built up top and had defined shoulders that the rest of his body hung from. His legs were quite muscled and covered in a thick layer of curly dark brown hair. He had kept his balls shaved ever since he started growing hair down there, but left the rest of it above his manhood grow wild. This in turn left a cute treasure trail growing up to his belly button.

In the heat of the bathroom with the shower running, Jake's balls were at their loosest, revealing how low they hung. He played with them in his hand as he brushed his teeth with the other, not even noticing he was starting to become erect. Although not really in the mood for a release, he decided to rub one out in the sink, regardless, thinking that it might relieve the stress he was feeling. He held the head in his hand, spat and hit the target of his uncut cock. With that, he began to work his dick while standing in front of the mirror. As he could feel his balls getting higher and higher, with an impending orgasm rushing its way through his body, he closed his eyes and leaned back his head. His brain gave the signal to his dick that he could now start shooting the good stuff. Right then, 3 large globs of semen came shooting out of his cock. Jake didn't look down to see where it was landing, he just kept his eyes closed as he came down from his orgasm. When he opened his eyes, he couldn't help but laugh out loud, because of where he had shot. One glob, presumably the first, had hit the mirror and was slowing running down to the frame. The others had made their way on to his father's electric shaver and his mother's face cream jar. Jake rinsed them off and wiped the mirror before jumping in the shower to get clean.

As the water ran over him, he was wrestling with the dilemma of asking his mum and dad about the America thing. Unbeknown to him, his parents had already planned to tell him. Jake's reflective mood kept him in the shower a little longer than usual.

Downstairs, his mother and father were just watching the news on the TV chatting about their day. Alan told Jenny that his boss had kept him after work to see if he had made a final decision on the job in America yet. Time was running out for Alan, as his boss needed an answer. This turned the decision to have the conversation with Jake tonight from optional to mandatory. It was a conversation his parents were dreading, but knew it had to be done.

Just at that moment Jake appeared in the lounge.

"Hey, honey, would you like a cup of tea?" his mother asked.

"No thanks, Mum, I'm good," Jake replied, taking a seat on one of the chairs. "Mum, Dad, can I ask you something?" Jake asked, nervously.

"If you need more pocket money, the answer's no," Alan stated, before smirking.

"No, I don't need money, Dad, it's about something with you and Cody's dad, Craig." Alan crooked his head at his son, not knowing what this was all about.

"What about Cody's dad and me, Jake?" Alan asked.

"Well Dad, Cody told me today that he heard his dad and you talking on the phone about…"

Alan suddenly tensed up, fearing what was coming next. He tried to interrupt Jacob mid-sentence. All he heard in the moment of panic were the words Jake said to finish his sentence, "going to America." The words cut Alan like a knife. He had had it all planned out. What he was going to say and how he was going to put it to Jake, but now all that was out the window. He was going to have to do this by the seat of his pants.

"Well, Jake, um…" Alan coughed as he tried to speak. "Jenny, could you pour me another brandy, please, honey?"

Jenny got up immediately, seeing that her husband could really use the drink for his nerves. She set the glass down next to him, and he immediately swallowed the whole measure given to him.

"When were you guys going to tell me?" Jake asked, calmly. He was surprised at how calmly that came out, but not as surprised as his parents were, as they seemed to relax a little.

"Jake, son, it's been really difficult to say anything to you, because I know how hard the move would be if we did go. Plus, the fact your mother and I were not one hundred per cent sure we were ready to do this, either."

"So you have made up your minds then I gather," Jake said in a sulky tone. His parents could handle sulky, it's what teenagers did. They were just glad he was still in the room and not screaming at them, telling them how unfair it was, and what evil parents they were.

"Well I guess we have to look at…" Alan started.

"What about family, Dad? What about my friends? What about Cody? I can't leave Cody - he's my best friend," and more, Jake thought, but didn't say. "And please don't tell me I'll make new friends, because it's not the same as being with Cody!" Jake said, banging his fist on the carpeted floor.

"We both know how much you care about Cody, Jake, and it's one of the things we thought about when we talked about this. We both know you two have been inseparable since an early age, and one of our biggest fears telling you was how you would feel about moving away from Cody. Don't think we haven't thought about you, because we have," Jake's mother said passionately.

"I need to take this job, Jake," Alan said to his son. "I need to take it because we have far too much debt here, which cannot be paid off with my current salary, especially with our big mortgage on top. Plus, I know you will want to get into a good University when you leave school. If I take this job, it solves so many of our problems. Think of it as an adventure as well. You'll see places and do things you never could do here. There is so much open space, Jake. We could get you a quad bike or something to ride around." Alan knew he was not selling the place very well, so he went quiet, hoping Jen would take over and have a shot.

"We know this is a lot to take in, Jake, and you probably have lots of questions, but please believe me when I say your father and I made this decision with a lot of thought, and with you in mind."

Jenny sat back in her chair, feeling she had said all that she could at that particular moment. All Jenny and Alan could do now was to wait for Jake to digest it and answer any questions he had, and they knew there would be many in the days ahead.

"So what happens now?" Jake asked in a dejected manner.

"Well, there are some things that need to be organised first. Your mother and I have decided to rent the house out, so when we come back, we can still have our old house."

"If, you mean," Jake said, at the same time, getting up to leave the lounge.

He headed back upstairs to his room, slamming the door behind him, and sat down on his bed. 'This is unreal,' Jake thought, putting his head in his hands. Just then, there was a quiet knock on the door

"Jake, can I come in, please?" He looked up seeing the door open a few inches, his father standing there through the gap. Jake just sat there, staring at the small opening in the door, not offering his father an answer, one way or the other. Alan took the silence as a yes and proceeded to enter the room.

"I know I'm not your favourite person right now, but I really want to tell you that this is going to be ok. I know it's been hard for you to digest, and really, I feel bad seeing you so upset about it." Jake looked at his father, and could see his face matched the statement.

"I really don't get a say in this, Dad, so what would you like me to say about it? You and Mum are taking me away from everything I have, and I'm sure you both understand I'm not going to be running in circles full of joy." Jake got up from his bed and sat in his computer chair, as if trying to get a better vantage point to talk with his father. "I don't know what to feel right now. At the moment, I feel anger and sadness and nothing else."

"You know, you are growing up to be a fine and mature young man, and I really respect the way you are dealing with this, son. I just hope you can put yourself in our shoes and see why we are doing this," his father, said leaning forward, looking into Jake's eyes.

"When do we go?" Jake asked, not really wanting to know the answer.

"Well, I need to get clearance from work, and my new contract from the US base. Plus we need to get the house advertised. I would say, maybe a month, give or take a few days."

"I see," acknowledged Jake, swinging from side to side in his chair. For the next few seconds there was silence in the room, until finally seeing that his son really didn't have anything to say, Alan got up from the bed.

"Well, I'll leave you in peace, Jake. Gonna go join your mother downstairs."

Alan felt that enough had been said for today, and he hoped once Jake had slept on the change, it might make it easier to talk about. He headed out the door and downstairs, where Jenny was waiting expectantly in the lounge.

"So, how was he?" Jenny asked, looking nervously at her husband.

"I think he understands now, but he didn't really add a lot to a conversation. I think he'll be fine given time, but we should give him some space to deal with his emotions. Try not to smother him, Jen; he'll come round soon enough."

Back upstairs, Jake was getting into bed. He kept thinking about everything that had gone on today, and how it all seemed a bit surreal. From finding out he actually was going to America, to how Cody had kissed him. "Fucked up" he muttered. Jake laid there for about an hour before tiring himself out from all the churning his mind was doing. The next thing he knew, it was morning, and the light was shining through his blinds, waking him up.

"Cody, will you please run down to the shop and pick up some milk for me, sweetie?" Hazel asked, calling up to her son.

Cody was in his room sorting out his school bag, which contained his homework for the week. He hated homework and usually got Jake to help with it, but he was not planning to see his best friend today after what had happened yesterday. It was unusual because the two of them always spent the weekend together doing different things, including homework. Today, though, would be different, because Cody worried that Jake would bring up yesterday, and also probably confirm he was leaving the country, and he did not want to deal with either catastrophe.

He couldn't decide which he dreaded the most. For some reason, after a good night's sleep, the events of yesterday and kissing Jake now slightly embarrassed him. He wondered whether Jake felt the same way.

Cody headed out of the front door and made his way down to the shop on the corner of their road. It was a small establishment that sold the essentials like bread, milk, newspapers, etc. Once he arrived at the entrance to the shop, he was just about to go in when his cell phone started buzzing. He took the device from his pocket, looked at the ID caller and saw it was Jake.

'Here we go.' Cody thought. "Hello, Jake" he said with his eyes clenched shut.

"I need to talk to you, Cody," came Jake's voice, without even so much as a hello. "But not at our places, we need to go somewhere private. I was thinking the old pill box off saddler's road."

Cody knew the place well. Back in the Second World War, England built lots of these pill boxes in the south and east of the country in preparation of a Nazi invasion. Of course, as history tells, this never happened, but the pill boxes still remained. The one Jake was talking about was off a rarely used farm road. Jake and Cody used to play down there when they were younger kids. They would sit on top of it, hanging their legs over the side while they chatted, and used the inside as a makeshift den.

"Um, I'm kind of busy today, Jake," Cody announced, knowing that Jake would probably ask what with, but not getting that far ahead.

"You never said you were doing anything when I saw you yesterday," Jake said, slightly sharply. Cody knew he couldn't really get out of it after that response, so he reluctantly agreed to meet his friend at the pill box in one hour.

Cody got home and put the milk in the fridge as his mother came through to the kitchen, carrying a basket of clean washing.

"Are you meeting up with Jake today, Cody?" his mother asked, as she started to fold the washing up ready for ironing.

"It looks that way," said Cody, annoyed with himself for not thinking of a way to avoid Jake that day.

"How is he, anyway?" she asked, trying to find out if he knew anything about the move.

"He's ok," replied Cody, not giving anything away."

Back at Jake's house Jake was pulling on his shoes getting ready to go out.

"Mum, I'm going to meet Cody, I won't be long," he called to his mother, who was now pulling the old petrol mower from the shed at the end of the garden, while his father was filling up the bird seed.

"Ok, honey, say hi from your dad and me, won't you?" Jenny called back. "Alan, help me with this, will you please, darling?"

"Jen, I don't know why you are doing this now; it's far too cold to be mowing the lawn."

"Well, I figured this would be the last cut until spring. Plus, it helps me think!" she said, unscrewing the petrol cap from the machine.

"He'll be fine, you know."

"Will he?" Jenny said, glancing up into the sky

"He just needs time to work it out in his head."

"Alan, it's a difficult age. I just don't want to lose him emotionally. He's already showing signs of going inside himself, and I'm not going to stand here and watch him fall apart"

"I think you are overreacting, Jen," Alan said, kissing his wife on the back of her head.

Jenny pulled the cord on the mower and pressed the lever, making the machine chug forward, and straight away became lost in her thoughts.

"Well, I'm here," Cody called as he approached the old pill box. Jake was sitting in the top, tapping his heels on the side of the old concrete bomb shelter.

"It's all true," Jake said, staring straight ahead in to the distance.

Cody leant back against the pill box below Jake's legs and let out a long sigh. "I know."

"I miss you already," Jake choked out, desperately trying to hold in the sudden surge of emotion, as he looked down at his friend… the friend that had been there through everything with him and who he was in love with, but would never be with.

"Don't!" Cody whispered.

"I can't help it," Jake continued, with tears now rolling down his face. "I used to have these images in my head, you know. Little daydreams where we would be laying in a grass field somewhere with the warm sun on our faces, and you were just lying in my arms, pulling apart a blade of grass. Every now and again I would lean down and kiss you, and you would smile at me"

"Don't, Jake, please!" But Jake just continued.

"You know, the most powerful part of all those images was the fact we were together. It was in the future, somehow, but we were together. I would play with your soft hair and…."

"Jake, fuck, man, stop it! Stop doing this!" Cody said in a raised voice, with the emotion clearly dominating his cracked voice.

Jake jumped down from the Pill box and started to walk away at a determined pace.

"Where are you going?" Cody cried out to him.

"I don't know! I'm fucked up! Away from you, away from here, I don't know. I'm just so fucked up, this is so fucked up, Cody" Jake screamed, now crying hard in what looked like to Cody – utter emotional free fall.

"Jake, wait." But there was no response. Cody ran after him and grabbed his arm, but Jake yanked it free and continued his stride. Cody tried again, but with more force this time, causing Jake to swing 90 degrees and almost fall over. In a sudden fit of emotional rage he grabbed Cody and pushed him, while at the same time Cody grabbed both Jake's arms, and they both fell to the ground. Jake lifted himself up so that he was now straddling Cody, and started to hit him on the chest and shoulders with the palms of his hands, screaming.

"You fucking asshole! You complete fucking asshole!" he screamed, continuing to pound Cody with his hands. Cody, not saying a word but with a distinct look of sorrow in his eyes, once again grabbed Jake's arms. He pulled them apart and then quickly moved to place both his hands round Jake's back and neck, pulling Jake's entire body down on to himself. Jake was now cradled tightly in Cody's arms, unable to really move, so he gave up the fight, and just relaxed on top of his friend, sobbing his heart out.

"Shhh, stop it," Cody whispered in Jake's ear, rubbing circle motions on his back with one hand, while stroking Jake's hair with the other.

"You mean so much to me, Cody. You don't know how much this is hurting me, and you don't seem to understand that." Jake lurched his words out in between sobs.

"Jake?" Cody began to lift Jake's head up with his hands so they were looking in each other's eyes. "I do understand, and more than you know. This is hard for me, too."

"Then…then why do you act so cold, like you don't even care?"

"I'm not acting cold, dammit! I'm trying to stay strong. Not just for you, either! It's like this is all about you, Jake. How do you think I feel about this?" Cody asked with a slight edge to his voice. "You think I want you to go. You think I don't feel anything, when the first thing you said when I got here was – it's all true. But no, I'm not allowed to feel anything, Jake, because this is all about how you..."

"I'm in love with you for fuck sake!" Jake cut across him. "I'm fucking in love with you," he repeated quieter, but starting to sob again.

Cody moved Jake from him gently and sat up, pulling his knees up and resting his arms on them. He sat there, trying to digest what Jake had just said. It was a powerful word that Cody couldn't really understand. 'Love, but what is love,' he thought. Cody had never been in love before, well, as far as he knew he hadn't. 'Love!' He thought again. 'He said he's in love with me. But what does that mean? What does that mean to him? What does it mean to me?'

"Jake, we are 16, we are best friends, and this whole thing is fucked up. What you are saying you don't mean, and if you think you mean it, how do you know you actually are?"

"Oh please don't do that, fucking hell!" Jake hissed, shaking his head in disbelief.

"Don't do what?"

"Don't fucking sit there and tell me this is not real and attribute it to my age and the fucked up situation. It's real enough for me, Cody. I mean, yeah, ok, things might be a little amplified now because the shit has hit the fan, but don't fucking tell me my own feelings are wrong."

Cody decided it was time to take a harder approach with Jake in the hope that he would snap out of all this love talk. He knew that Jake would not take the rejection well, but it had to be done. He had already begun to buckle at times, almost revealing his feelings for Jake that he was trying so hard to supress, for both their sakes.

"You don't know what you're saying, Jake. Look at you, you're not yourself. Yes, I'm upset that you're going. Yes we kissed. I kissed you! It felt good, big deal! It doesn't really mean anything, does it? Just 2 best friends comforting each other through bad times. I mean, hardly the time to start saying you are in love with someone, Jake"

Cody let out a fake chuckle, and immediately regretted saying every word that fell from his mouth when he saw the look on Jake's face. It was like he had just emotionally crushed his friend to the point of no return. He was battling his own feelings for Jake, but was absolutely determined not to fall for him. He couldn't, not now. Not after everything that had happened and everything that would happen. Why let things go further and make things harder, he thought. No! He must not do that at any cost. He was not willing to put himself through that, let alone Jake. Because when the time came for them to be ripped apart at least it would be almost bearable rather than completely unbearable. But Jake was starting to turn bright red. Red from anger, rejection, or embarrassment, Cody could not tell, but one thing was for sure. The damage he had just done was catastrophic.

"Fuck you, Cody," Jake spat, saliva flying from his mouth as he jumped to his feet "I can't believe you would brush off what happened as no big deal, as you put it. What am I, some fucking joke to you? Kiss me and then listen to me pour my heart out, only to make out it means nothing to you? What, so you kiss all your other male friends who go through bad times, do you?" Jake wiped his mouth.

"No, of course..."

"So why, then?" Jake cut back fast. "Why did you do it? For me? Was it to make me feel better, or do you just enjoy fucking with your best friend's head?"

Cody just listened, refusing to look at Jake as he ranted. What could he say to make it better? There was nothing that could undo the devastation and anger he had just made his best friend feel. Cody, it seemed, had no more ace to play, he just had to take the hit.

"No big deal," Jake muttered again, before flaring up for the third wave of anger. "Well, bullshit, Cody, and fuck you! You really say the nicest things. Talk about kick a guy when he's down."

"Have you finished?" Cody turned round and spat back, having taken just about all he could from Jake's hysterical outbursts.

"Oh, I'm finished, Cody, I'm definitely finished, and since you have made your feelings more than clear, I think we are too, friend!"

Jake began to walk off, leaving Cody sitting there, wondering if the tactics, as painful as they were, had been the right ones to play.

"So you're throwing away 10 years of friendship over a kiss?" Cody called out to a fast walking Jake.

"You did that when you suddenly turned into a heartless bastard, not to mention the fact you just don't fucking get it. It's not just about a kiss!" Jake bellowed back, not bothering to look at Cody as he did.

Jake continued home, almost running by the time he got to his road. Tears were freely flowing again as he went over and over his and Cody's argument in his mind. The way he said it meant nothing - that hurt the most. "Big deal was the words he used," Jake muttered, as the anger and pain built to fever pitch, just as he stopped at his front door. He turned the key in the door with such force, it bent in the lock, trapping the key. Jake was past caring at this point, so he just went in and slammed the front door, causing one of the pictures on the wall by the door to fall off its nail.

"Jake! What's wrong?" Jenny asked, rushing to see what the bang was.

"My life," Jake said, storming upstairs and locking himself in the bathroom.

He stood there with his back leaning against the door, breathing heavily for a moment, and then approached the sink taps, turning both of them on full power, before sinking to the floor and bursting into tears again. He had lost count as to how many times he had cried today. He felt a sense of utter desolation within his life. 'How had it come to this?' he thought. How had things become so fucked up in such a short space of time? The mental pain he was experiencing was almost causing physical pain, he thought, as his heart ached and his mind worked flat out to process all the emotions, causing a dull ache in his head. He was a mess! He wiped the tears and snot from his face with his sleeve and got up to look in the mirror. He saw himself as if he was looking at another person. A look of complete defeat, anger, desperation, emptiness all rolled into one! Then out the corner of his eye he saw a way out of the pain. He slowly moved his trembling hand to the object that was going to make this all ok again.

"What have I got to lose that I already haven't lost?" he barely whispered. He was waiting for an answer to come into his head, before realising in a moment of clarity that there wasn't anything.

"That settles it then!"


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